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The Anglo-Saxon Origins of the English Monarchy

The replica of the royal helm from the Sutton Hoo ship-burial in the National Trust Visitors’ Centre at Sutton Hoo.

with Dr Sam Newton

in The Old Court, Sutton Hoo (map)
on Saturday, 2nd June, 2012.

On the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee Weekend of Queen Elizabeth II, we shall explore the Anglo-Saxon origins of the English royal line. We shall trace the line back to the Anglo-Saxon kings and queens of Wessex and beyond to Kent and East Anglia. These in turn derive from deep pre-Christian roots back to the Woden and other deities. We shall consider the significance of these roots and note how they help to explain some of the cultic customs associated with kingship such as the royal touch, royal weather, and the veneration of royal relics.

Provisional Programme
  10.00 Coffee on arrival  
  10.15 Windsors, West Saxons, and Wuffings  
  11.15 Coffee  
  11.45 Royal Bringers of Peace and Good Seasons  
  12.45 Lunch break (bring picnic or eat in NT restaurant)  
  14:00 Woden and the Cult of Kingship  
  15:00 Tea break  
  15:15 Kingship and the Coming of Christianity  
  c.16:20 Close  

About Dr Sam Newton

Sam Newton was awarded his Ph.D at UEA in 1991 and is the author of The Origins of Beowulf and the pre-Viking Kingdom of East Anglia (1993) and The Reckoning of King Rædwald: The Story of the King linked to the Sutton Hoo Ship-Burial , (2003). He has lectured widely around the country as an independent scholar and has contributed to many radio and television programmes. He is also a Director of Wuffing Education, NADFAS lecturer, and part-time Time Team historian.

Some suggestions for further reading
(useful but not essential)

Alexander, M., The First Poems in English (Penguin Classics 2008)
Branston, B., The Lost Gods of England (Thames & Hudson 1957, 1974)
Chaney, W.A., The Cult of Kingship in Anglo-Saxon England (Manchester 1970)
Ellis Davidson, H., The Lost Beliefs of Northern Europe (Routledge 1993)
Evans, A., The Sutton Hoo Ship-Burial (British Museum 1986)
Faulkes, A. (tr.), Snorri Sturluson: Edda (Dent Everyman 1987)
Glob, P.V., The Bog People, tr. R.Bruce-Mitford (Cornell 1969 etc.)
Heaney, Seamus (tr.) Beowulf: An Illustrated Edition, ed. J.Niles (Norton 2007)
Herbert, K., Looking for the Lost Gods of England (Pinner 1994)
Kirby, D.P., The Earliest English Kings (London 1991)
Lee, S., & E.Solopova, The Keys of Middle Earth – Discovering Medieval Literature through the Fiction of J.R.R.Tolkien (Palgrave Macmillan 2005)
Mayr-Harting, H., The Coming of Christianity to Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford 1977)
Newton, S., The Origins of Beowulf and the pre-Viking Kingdom of East Anglia (Brewer 1993, 1994, 1999, 2004)
Newton, S., The Reckoning of King Rædwald: The Story of the King linked to the Sutton Hoo Ship-Burial (Redbird 2003)
North, R., Heathen Gods in Old English Literature Cambridge 1997)
Owen, G., Rites and Religions of the Anglo-Saxons (London, 1981)
Stone, A., Ymir’s Flesh. Northern European Creation Mythologies (Loughborough 1997)
Swanton, M., The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (Dent 1996; Phoenix 2000)
Turville-Petre, E.O.G., Myth and Religion of the North – The Religion of Ancient Scandinavia (London 1964)
Webster, L., & J.Backhouse, The Making of England. Anglo-Saxon Art and Culture AD 600-900 (London 1991)
Wilson, R., The Lost Literature of Medieval England (Methuen 1952, 1970)


Please phone or email to check the availability of places. Study Days are 38 per person, which includes a full day of lectures, access to the NT site, parking, coffee and tea throughout the day, and access to the NT exhibition. Once you have reserved your place please send a cheque to confirm the booking. For your first booking please complete the application form to ensure that we have recorded your contact details correctly.

Wuffing Education,
4 Hilly Fields,
Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 4DX
tel : 01394 386498

Email cliff AT wuffingeducation.co.uk
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Website www.wuffingeducation.co.uk

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We have learnt of the fame of the Wuffing folk-lords of long ago, of how those wolf-kings held the ancestral land of East Anglia....
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